KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said that the prime minister candidate is secondary when compared to winning the Parliamentary majority.
During an interview with Malaysiakini, he was commenting on Parti Warisan Sabah’s stance that he should be the candidate for prime minister since it is crucial to indicate to voters that a “Malay party” is part of “Harapan Plus”.
“If Harapan is seen as a multiracial outfit, I don’t think the Malay MPs would support us. Without their support, there is no need to talk about anyone being prime minister or becoming anything,” Dr Mahathir said in a video conference from his office in Putrajaya.
He said without the support from Malay MPs, it would be impossible to form a government and therefore choosing a prime minister at this point would be meaningless.
“So if we want to choose a prime minister the candidate is not important. Winning over the majority in Parliament is what is important,” Dr Mahathir said.
At present Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR alongside DAP and Parti Amanah Negara are in the middle of talks with Warisan and former Parti Pribumi Bersatu MPs loyal to Dr Mahathir, on forming a new government.
The main sticking point since negotiations began on May 30 was over the new leader of the government, whether it is to be Anwar or Dr Mahathir.
Amanah, DAP, and Warisan are seen as favourably inclined towards Dr Mahathir while PKR is staunchly behind Anwar as the next prime minister, in part motivated by scepticism that the 94-year old will keep his word and hand power to Anwar after serving for six months.